Inside Areté Interview Series

Who is Areté?


Leah, Areté Senior ’20

If you could learn or do anything now or in the future (after high school), what would it be? I want to travel the world and learn about other cultures. I don’t have one specific place I would like to go to because I am interested in experiencing as many different cultures as I can and would be happy going anywhere.

How long have you been at Areté?  I’ve been at Areté for four years.

How does your education make your life better?  Areté has improved my life because it gave me a place to be myself. It also gave me the education I needed to get into the college that I wanted. 

What is your favorite philosopher, philosophical question or thought experiment? I find moral philosophy very interesting. I find moral philosophy interesting because most people live by a set of morals, and in moral philosophy, we explore what a person thinks they will do in a situation where those morals are challenged. One classic example is the trolley problem. The trolley problem is where you imagine yourself on a trolley that is not stopping. On the current track are five people, and on the other track is one person. The question becomes: Do you switch the tracks and kill one in order to save five, or do you do nothing and let the five die? This problem also has many interesting variations. 

What was your Areté Senior Master thesis about?  My Master Class [thesis] is about the power of the mind. I look at placebos and the power that belief has on healing. I also look at the ethics of doctors prescribing placebos.

What was your favorite moment at Areté? One great Areté moment that really sticks with me is a video we watched about the Mongols in my 10th-grade world history class. The video was funny and informative. I really liked it. There are a lot of really great [moments]. 

How are you different now from a few years ago? I am different now than I was before. It started at Areté because I learned to question things and not to believe everything that I think, hear, see, etc. Areté taught me that “why” or “how” should be the first things said when you have new ideas. I also learned how to respectfully debate a topic with someone who does not agree with me and the fact that a debate is not about winning but about educating. 

Is there anything you are passionate about that you want to do as a career or in your life? I plan on opening a bakery in the future.

Would you recommend Areté to other students and why? I would recommend Areté to kids who learn better in a smaller, more hands-on environment. Every person learns differently and Areté is not for everyone, but for the right people, it is a life-changer. 

What do you like to do when you have free time?  In my free time, I like to bake.

What is an interesting fact about you?  I like crime dramas—books, TV shows and movies. Also, I have read my favorite book series, The Naturals, five times and am working on six.

What are you looking forward to most? I am looking forward to opening my bakery so I can provide people with a safe, stress-free environment where people can relax and destress while enjoying a pastry and a cup of tea.

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